Eidolon Nature Preserve walk in Morgan County set for July 5

June 17, 2008

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The Potomac Valley Audubon Society will sponsor a guided walk of the new Eidolon Nature Preserve in Morgan County on Saturday, July 5.

The walk will begin at 10 a.m. and last about an hour and a half. It will be led by local naturalist Joe Gentile.

Anyone with an interest is welcome.

Participants will meet at the preserve's main gate on Orleans Road and walk into the preserve from there.

Parking is available along the shoulder of Orleans road, opposite the preserve entrance.

The 354-acre Eidolon Preserve straddles the summit and both sides of Sideling Hill, about 10 miles west of Berkeley Springs. The elevation at its highest point is about 1,650 feet, affording sweeping views to the east and west.

The preserve includes three walking trails, an access road that runs up to an FAA tower at the highest point on the property and an old coach road that runs down the mountain. In all, these trails and roads total about four miles.


The trails and the old coach road include steep changes in elevation and some relatively rough ground, so visitors should wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for a workout.

Insect repellent and sunscreen are recommended.

Please note that there is no drinking water at the preserve and no bathroom facilities.

The preserve was formally opened to the public last May. It was willed to the Nature Conservancy by its longtime owner, Marguerite Zapoleon. It is being co-managed by the Conservancy and the Potomac Valley Audubon Society.

To reach the preserve from downtown Berkeley Springs, take W.Va. 9 west over Cacapon Mountain and through the village of Great Cacapon until you reach Detour Road (a total of 7.6 miles). Go right on Detour Road for nine-tenths of a mile to Orleans Road. Go right on Orleans Road and follow it up Sideling Hill for 2.1 miles; the entrance to Eidolon will be on your right. It is a light-green metal gate flanked by two low, square stone pillars.

For more information see the PVAS Web site at or contact Peter Smith at 304-876-1139 or

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society is a member of the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the Combined Federal Campaign.

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